“The closest we get to a Paralympic Games experience is playing at a Grand Slam, so Wimbledon is very good preparation for me.”
Japanese wheelchair tennis star Yui Kamiji will aim to back up her Roland Garros Grand Slam doubles title with the maiden singles title on the hallow grass of Wimbledon, which begins 7 July.
“I am very excited for the singles event because it’s the first time it’s happening at Wimbledon,” said Kamiji.
“I haven't won all of the Grand Slam singles titles yet, so I would very much love to add the first Wimbledon singles title to my name.
“I love competing at Wimbledon because it is such a lovely tournament with great tradition and I am very much looking forward to being a part of it.”
The No. 2 ranked women’s singles player will face tough competition on the grass, as this will be the inaugural singles competition at Wimbledon.
For the first time in the sport’s history, wheelchair tennis singles will be played at SW19 showcasing the best four female and male players in the world.
Wimbledon is the final Grand Slam to allow wheelchair tennis singles competition and July’s event will act as the final major before players head to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games this September.
Grass will offer a different challenge to the players compared to the Australian and US Open hardcourts and Roland Garros clay, Kamiji said.
“I think it will be very good to showcase wheelchair tennis at its highest level,” she said.
“I feel now is the perfect time to have the singles competition at Wimbledon because the standard is so high. I know it will be very difficult for us on the grass but it will be a good step forward to take our sport to the next level.”
After the pair’s win in Paris, France, Kamiji and Great Britain’s Jordanne Whiley will be going for their third successive Wimbledon doubles title when they team up again for the tournament.
The duo beat Dutch pair Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 in 2015 and 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 in 2014 to set them up for a hat-trick of wins in front of the British fans.
“I will again be partnering Jordanne Whiley and I feel we are in a very good place now off the back of our win at Roland Garros. We would very much like to do the hat-trick - it would be a great achievement,” Kamiji said.
“Playing with Jordanne in the doubles has gained me a lot of love from the British public, which I am very grateful for as I love to play in front of them.
“The crowd also sit very close to the court so I can really feel their support.”
With Wimbledon being the final Grand Slam before Rio 2016, it is the perfect tournament to build momentum ahead September’s Games according to Kamiji who stressed the need to focus on the job in hand before getting too far ahead.
“The closest we get to a Paralympic Games experience is playing at a Grand Slam, so Wimbledon is very good preparation for me,” she said.
“Winning singles on a grass court will be the most difficult thing to do, so I believe if I can win at Wimbledon then I can certainly take a lot of confidence into Rio.
“I also understand pressure will be running high there so anything could happen, but I like to take one day at a time.”
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs)
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.
Visa International is the exclusive payment card and the official payment system for the Paralympic Games.